The Great Debate Thread of 2005

[Editor’s Note: Not sure if this is a great idea or not, but what the hell.]

We seem to have three new folks here at SEB, Ginjibar, Kristen, and Lisa4Catholics, all three bringing different viewpoints from the SEB norm. As shown in the Raving Atheist and Terry Schiavo blog discussions, there has been some good debate and some bad debate. The Terri Schiavo thread is still on-topic, but we need to stop polluting other threads with other crap. I know there was a thread on this before for people trying to convert us, but this is different; ginj and friends don’t appear to be evangelists. I am creating this post so that we can all have one place to talk to Ginj and his friends, instead of them stirring up controversy in unwanted places.

The Rules

The rules are:
-First person to make a totally off-topic comment will be ignored after said comment
-Cite your sources; this is a debate
-Try to keep the number of times the words ‘Jesus’, ‘culture of life’, ‘Christian-hating’, and ‘anti-Christian liberals’ down to less than 15

The topic can be anything that is good discussion in terms of politics or religion, or maybe even pop culture (seeing how Les likes to blog about entertainment so much).

If a Christian becomes an atheist, the person who made the best argument wins a free 2 gb gmail account. If you already have one, well, sucks for you.

My opening statement: Terry Schiavo would have wanted to ‘officially’ die, Jesus loves you but he’s not in love with you.

74 thoughts on “The Great Debate Thread of 2005

  1. Now although the corpse was alive the Terri Shaivo involved was already dead.. no pilot was present in the cabin if you know what I mean.

    If she could have “looked in on herself” and examined the evidence (given the circumstances) who knows which way she would have went with it or if she would have come to terms with this.

    If this magical event could occur and it was me I would unplug my ass. no sence in wasting electricity.

    Jesus can love me all he wants as long as the beer keeps coming and the tab is payed. But if he thinks hes getting even a little outta me in the parking lot afterwards he’s sorely mistaken.

  2. Aww… Why Terri Shiavo again. Let the topic die [pun intended].

    Lets talk about something I haven’t heard both sides a million times already:

    I am not an expert on this but I know there are conflicting view points on the accuracy of the Bible we have today. How does the current Bible [in it’s various editions we have today] maybe differ from the original books it is composed of? I’d like to hear the Atheist side and the “other” side. Obviously the book has been around the block a few times anyone have any opinions on how it came to be?

    Argh, who am I kidding… Off to wikipedia.

  3. Nevermind, ignore my question. It was far too vague. We would be debating for weeks or quite the opposite reading one person’s response for weeks. I’ll just read wikipedia for the next oh say… 3 days.

  4. Good topic for discussion, Sepharo. When you think about it, if the meaning of a word can shift in 20 years, how can we really glean the certain definitions of words 2000 years old. If you never study the source material and instead rely on someone else’s translations, you might be championing a totally different message than you thought.

    I say we’ve never had a Bible that represented the original messages and motives of people living then. We’ve never really read historical accounts that weren’t tinkered with to satisfy certain agenda. Sure, we’ve found some of the earliest, purist writings but the common person may never have access to those. Most people today worship a religion that never existed until now. They have little understanding of the social and political circumstances that inspired earlier societies to create fantastic heroes and villains.

    Of course I only care because I tire of people professing religious beliefs that are based on present values and fears and not specific to a slave civilization 2500 years ago. I’d rather they didn’t need a religion at all but some cannot abide the thought of no saviour/punisher to serve them and smite those they don’t like.

    Religion is politics regarding the soul; a thing that may or may not even exist…

    TheBo$$, aren’t you a Christian? Did I imagine reading that somewhere? Oh, and good luck keeping this, or any discussion at SEB on track. Sometimes even, it’s the turning that thrills.

  5. Nope. I used to consider myself christian, but when had thaat whole talk about what a christian is, I realised I am certainly not. I now state myself as a recovering ex-catholic.

    As to words changing, that is certainly true. The word ‘nice’ used to be an insult meaning lazy.

  6. This thread seems to work exactly like I thought it would: not.

    Sorry, TheBo$$ – you don’t catch trolls with a trap saying ‘Trolls Enter Here’. They want to feel like they control it all, they don’t crop up where you want them…

  7. Well you could still give out free Wallop and Yahoo 360 degrees accounts.  I believe both are still invite only and Les I can give you invites if you want

  8. We’ve all seen how well threads with rules have worked on this site before.  It should be no surprise by now that trolls do not enjoy operating within certain frameworks.

    The canonized bible is nothing more than a glorified marketing tool to bring the diverse religions of the day under one umbrella.  Without a canonized bible there would still be fragmentary religions celebrating the rise of the giants, Christ’s marriage, the sacredness of the shells, among other things.

    With most not having access to the original written material, let alone the ability to read it, Christianity paired with a doctored bible became the ultimate tool of manipulation.  I imagine after the canonization one of the first phrases uttered was ‘You’re either with god or against god’

  9. I didn’t expect it to work at first either. Eventually someone will find it.

    I don’t think Ginj and Lisa4Catholics are trolls though. Kristen is another story…

  10. The source material for the Bible is from ancient Sumeria Babylon and Kemet.
    It is entirely based on this much older paganism.

    The Bible itself proves its Astrological origins rather definitively.

    Notice how closely the alleged Jesus story follows the Zodiac & how perfectly the character of Jesus fits as an allegory for the Sun.

  11. I don’t think Ginj and Lisa4Catholics are trolls though. Kristen is another story…

    Lisa4Catholics is what I call a Sincere BelieverTM. My impression of her is that she’ll sincerely believe anything that supports the orthodox Catholic position on the hot button topics we know so well, but the things she believes in boggle my mind.

  12. Nunya, that is indeed priceless, and demands to be e-mailed to all my friends and collegues.

  13. deadscot said:

    Without a canonized bible there would still be fragmentary religions celebrating the rise of the giants, Christ’s marriage, the sacredness of the shells, among other things.

    I haven’t run across this before- have any good links or books?  Or even more info?

  14. I imagine only the insanely curious, ministers and scholars of dead languages are familiar with some of these stories.

    Since the Dead Sea Scrolls seem to be the agreed beginning to this fallacy, it makes for a great place to start.  The ‘Book of Giants’ has always been one of my favorites and tells the story of how angels descended from heaven to mate with human woman.  The result was to be the lineage from which David’s famed giant was derived.

    After that I would recommend reading the Old Testament Apocrypha which offers insight into many of the traditional fairy tales such as the flood, Moses and the prophecies.

    If you’re still awake, try the Corpus Hermeticum which delves into the struggles of pre-Christianity and the infighting of the time.

  15. One of the best sources I’ve found, especially about the New Testament and early Christian developments: “Who Wrote the New Testament,” by Burton L. Mack, professor of early Christianity at the School of Theology at Claremont.

  16. If I may quote the big JC:

    Take this, all of you, and drink from it. This is my blood, the blood of the new and everlasting covenant. It shall be shed for you and for all, so that sins may be forgiven. Do this in memory of me. [Cue bell]

    If he were a divine figure, he would certainly love you. He wants you to drink his blood!

    BTW I would like to know what the fellow SEBs think about getting married and not having children. People who get married and don’t have kids, even though they can, fucking piss me off.

  17. People who get married and don’t have kids, even though they can, fucking piss me off.

    That’s a new one for me, Bo$$.  Whyever should that piss you off?  There are too many people in the world as it is…

  18. Thanks deadscot and leguru!  I’ve picked up an interest in the formation and evolution of religions, and I’m always on the lookout for good reading materials.

    TheBo$$ said:

    People who get married and don’t have kids, even though they can, fucking piss me off.

    Are you trolling in your own thread?

  19. There are too many people in the world as it is…

    Actually birth rates in the United States are declining.  At the same time the population gets older.  Much the same is happening in Europe and other industrial nations.  In some European countries the population is actually declining.  The United States will not have a decline in population because of a steady influx in immigrants.  This also means whites will soon be overtaken by minorities in percentage of the population.  It is the developing nations that need to curb the population.

    Some links…

    http://www.un.org/esa/population/publications/migration/migration.htm

    http://www.hhs.gov/news/press/2003pres/20030625.html

    http://www.unfpa.org/swp/1998/newsfeature3.htm

    I would also like to hear why people that get married and do not kids pisses you off.  Do you have the same opinion about people that stay single throught their lives, and consequently never have children?

  20. It is the developing nations that need to curb the population.

    John, yes and no- depends on what you mean by “developing”, and whose world we’re talking about.

    I’m well aware of the declining birthrate in the first world- I live in a country (Austria) with a negative birthrate, whose population is increasing only because of immigration (and that’s declining too, with ever-stricter immigration policies).  Neonazis play the racist card here in Europe too (the whites are going to be outnumbered soon unless they have lots of kids).  There are certainly problems associated with an ever-older population, especially with health care and Social Security being paid for more and more elderly folks by fewer and fewer young taxpayers.

    However, as father of two kids, my foremost concern is sustainability- what sort of world will my grandchildren inherit?  The depletion of natural resources, the increase of CO2 and pollution of air and groundwater, and possibly the greatest rate of extinctions the planet has ever seen, are all directly related to the number of humans.  Especially Americans and other first-worlders.  The environmental footprint of an American (depending on how you measure it) is about twice that of a West European, and about twenty-eight times that of a Bolivian farmer.  So based on how much of the Earth is being used up, I would say the Americans should be encouraged in their trend of population growth decline, and the rest of us (and the Americans) will breathe, and drink, and live, easier.

    This is of course not to say that third-world countries don’t have problems with population growth. But for Americans (or Europeans) to say “It’s not our problem” is disingenuous- or simply greedy.

  21. Neonazis play the racist card here in Europe too (the whites are going to be outnumbered soon unless they have lots of kids).

    Zilch, I am not playing the racist card, it is simply a fact. 

    Most of the population increase will come from developing nations. 

    http://www.prb.org/Content/NavigationMenu/PRB/Educators/Human_Population/Population_Growth/Population_Growth.htm

    Your concern about the world of tomorrow is no reason not to have children.  We need our children to help solve the problems you mentioned.

    I see your point in encouraging a downward trend in the population but encouraging a population decline is certainly not practical so I am not sure there is much discussion there. 

    I am studying math and sciences in school so I am doing my part to join the thinkers.  I am optimistic.

  22. People who get married and don’t have kids, even though they can, fucking piss me off.

    WTF?? What business is it of yours what people do with their DNA, especially when it’s NOT having kids?? 

    You must not value life very much if you just want people to cast it all over the planet because they can.

  23. BTW I would like to know what the fellow SEBs think about getting married and not having children. People who get married and don’t have kids, even though they can, fucking piss me off.

    sounds suspect…

    indeed the stupid are reproducing in volume. this really undermines the effort so those that can do something for the species I suppose. I hope natural selection will have its way in the end.
    of course at the rate were going what will it really matter?

    As for being married and not having children Bo$$…
    The only way I could see you being pissed off about this is thinking some resource is being consumed or some magical benifits lost due to “ill gotten” means.

  24. BTW I would like to know what the fellow SEBs think about getting married and not having children. People who get married and don’t have kids, even though they can, fucking piss me off.

    Maybe its just a badly phrased way of saying that he thinks people who have no kids should not expect society to take up all the slack in their old age?

    At least thats how I see it. Right now, the chances of me getting kids look pretty bleak (seeing as I seem to be totally unable to even find a partner for once) – but I support measures that reduce state benefits for seniors who never had kids/increase them for those who had. Obviously you can’t make that retroactive, since that would be unfair, but its one of the measures we do need or our social systems will get worse and worse, as the young/old ratio worsens.

    As it is, here in Germany, I don’t see much in that direction happening. Society is actually making it more difficult to raise kids, what with the plans to close kindergardens and schools due to reduced numbers of kids – its a self-fulfilling prophecy if you accept it like that.

  25. Being of a individualistic libertarian bent I’m of the opinion that anyone who doesn’t want to have kids, shouldn’t. Whether that’s good or bad for society as a whole doesn’t really factor into my opinion. I think there are too many people who probably shouldn’t have kids because they’re lousy parents who insist on it already so I’d rather that folks think long and hard before deciding to have kids.

    I have a daughter from a relationship that didn’t work out, but the truth is I was one of those people who didn’t intend to have children and I probably won’t have any more even though I’ve been married for 4 years now. I didn’t want to have kids because I didn’t think I’d make a very good father. There’s some folks who’d probably argue that I was right. Now that she’s here I wouldn’t trade Courtney for the world and I suppose I’m not as bad of a parent as I assumed I would be. Still, I have enough trouble taking care of my small family as it is without making it larger.

  26. I wasn’t too interested in this thread until the kids thing was mentioned.  I guess I’m one of those assholes who is married with NO intention of having kids. 

    With close to 300,000,000 people in this country, I think there are enough other people that can have children.  I choose not to be one of them.  Some of my smartest friends are in the same category (or divorced with the same intentions).  Why?  My wife and I have to many things that we want to do together and more importantly, we don’t like kids.  But we love each other, so we choose to be married. 

    The thing I would be more concerned about is all the idiots out there having kids.  And lots of them.

  27. Maybe it’s just a badly phrased way of saying that he thinks people who have no kids should not expect society to take up all the slack in their old age?

    I can’t see that, and I don’t think it’s fair.  For one thing, you don’t want to penalize infertile people.  You also don’t want to force people into marriage and parenthood when they can’t find the right partner.  This is one of those cases where society has to take care of its own.  Those childfree people are working, contributing members of society, and they too are indirectly paying for something they don’t benefit from—they have to contribute to the care and raising of children whether they want any for themselves or not.  The children benefit from our society, and so it’s only right that they help support it when they come of age.

    Of course, we could revert to a state where there is NO support for seniors or children except from their direct families.  But I doubt anyone wants that.

  28. **Since the whole purpose of marriage is reproduction, it seems entirely unreasonable to allow people to marry without having children.

    Instead, those who of us who choose not to bless this world with our progeny should be issued non-reproductive cohabitation permits.

    This would get us out of that whole gay-marriage thing, and it would remind people of the True Meaning of marriage. Marriages that fail to produce children within a reasonable period of time (say 5 years), would be down-graded. Of course, this might be a little sad for those who find that they can’t have children, but what the hell! They’re not making a contribution to the future anyway.

    Renwable at one-year intervals, the non-reproductive cohabitation permit would satisfy the liberal bent for relationship recognition, reduce the soaring divorce rate (simply fail to renew) and provide a handy source of income for the government.

    As far as the argument that some people shoudn’t have kids goes, I can only say that God brings people into this world with a divine purpose, and to use birth control is to thwart His holy intentions. God will provide whatever sorrows are necessary to develop the child’s character appropriately and it is not up to us to second-guess Him.

    Divorce rates would decline, marriage would be saved, and the world would be a better place.
    This may not be an original idea, but it really is worth consideration. 

    **I do hope that you can hear the sarcasm in this post**

  29. but I support measures that reduce state benefits for seniors who never had kids/increase them for those who had

    I also consider myself Libertarian.  Government intervention is bad.  People talk about allowing this, forcing that, and supporting measures that do this other thing.  Please, no more whacky laws!  Keep the goverment out of this stuff.

  30. Let’s throw gasoline in the fire.

    Firstly, There are too many people in this world.
    world population
    Secondly, I think it’s selfish to THINK that if you can….you have to.

    Thirdly, The magic word here isn’t “should”, It’s “could”.

    Funny, The Church wants more subjects so that more souls gather under their umbrella to eat and digest their lies. And yes, LIES.

    The government wants more citizens so more taxes can be collected and the way things are at the moment, the u.s. is going to need very soon a lot more soldiers.

    More bitching to come….I’m at work so I have to do it bit by bit.

  31. I guess I’m one of those assholes who is married with NO intention of having kids

    You are far from alone.  And I don’t think that makes you an asshole.  Of course, I’m prone to favor people who share my own perspectives, so I’m not exactly an objective source for calibrating an ‘asshole meter.’

  32. God will provide whatever sorrows are necessary to develop the child’s character appropriately and it is not up to us to second-guess Him.

    I’m with you on this one, but is supplementing God’s largesse with the occasional beating or grounding presumptuous?  I mean, I’m sure God’s afflictions will mold a child appropriately, but that doesn’t mean that we can’t help a bit, right?

  33. What the f… does god have to do with having kids or not!

    Tell me, is the maple tree that I have in my backyard catholic or protestant or maybe muslim.
    Will it’s fruits be republican or democrat or   independant.

    I hope it’s the language barrier because I’m thinking….“what the f… is wrong with you people”. It’s written right on the top of this page.
    Or maybe I’m not getting the sarcasm.

    I love this.

  34. John,

    Your concern about the world of tomorrow is no reason not to have children.  We need our children to help solve the problems you mentioned.

    Zilch’s concern was that we are having too many kids and that us having too many kids is a potential global problem.  That being the case, how would having more children be part of the solution?

  35. I guess I’m one of those assholes who is married with NO intention of having kids

    Count me in the asshole pile, too. We’ve been married 7 years. I am 31 and my husband is 36…and 6 months post-vasectomy. No kids here from either of us.

    The word de jour is ‘childfree’.

  36. Socialist Swine,

    Zilch’s concern was that we are having too many kids and that us having too many kids is a potential global problem.  That being the case, how would having more children be part of the solution?

     

    Having children is not a global problem.  As I said earlier populations in many industrialized nations are declining.  It is the developing nations that need help.  Populations of many of these countries are exploding but that is not the root of their problems.  These countries need education, health care, and a strong economy.  When they are able to catch up with the more industrialized nations their populations will begin to level out.  When Mom and Pop in Africa have an education, a good job, and don’t have to worry about putting food on the table, they have more options other than just having more children.

  37. It just seems kinda pointless to get married and not have kids. Why bother getting married? Why not just live together?

  38. And and just to double dip if anyone is tired of this topic about having kids there is another topic I’ve been burning to ask atheists for some time now. Just let me know.

  39. It just seems kinda pointless to get married and not have kids. Why bother getting married? Why not just live together?

    :thud:  So in contrast, why not have those people that want to have children wait until the wife is actually pregnant to get married.  Until that time they can just live together.

    What’s the point of having an animal as a pet if you’re not going to breed it?  What kind of fucked up logic is that?

  40. Marriage is a form of registration which is not free by the way. Like baptism is a form of registration.

    The goal is to live a happy life and marriage is just a word….why defend a word?

    I’m no atheist but I am curious to read your other topic.

    No hurry though… your thread is starting to roll.

  41. I think I’m just weird. I suppose it’s one of those things that piss me off for no reason, like Bob Dylan or people sucking their teeth.

    The goal is to live a happy life and marriage is just a word….why defend a word?

    Excellent point, one I should’ve considered earlier…

    Ok, I’ve been wanting to ask atheists this for a long time. How do you explain the Marian Apparitions? For a long time they were the only thing that kept my faith alive. I don’t have a fucking clue now.

  42. I think the fact that all apparitions have been discovered and/or witnessed almost exclusively by True BelieversTM speaks volumes.

    Much the same can be said about extraterrestrials, voodoo, ghosts, etc…  If you want to believe something badly enough, you will.

  43. How do we even know these Marian Apparitions actually decipt Virgin Mary?  Do we have a picture somewhere?  Any hints about her appearance in the Bible?  Historical references about how people dressed at that time/place?

    Just wondering.

  44. There are millions of things that occur in this world that are never completely explained.  The problems arise when people assign their belief structure to provide an answer instead of objectively seeking a resolution.

  45. If you want to see the truth behind the bible read the chapter on “Meme-ics” in my book “God-101 on blog part of God-101.com

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